The longest snowfall we had all winter, by which I mean that it snowed all day without stopping, came on April 1. “April fools,” my students said glumly. Considering temperatures were well into the teens (Celsius) just days before, no one was too pleased with this newest transition.

The biggest ice storm of my childhood, the one in which we lost power for a week, was also the first week of April. Despite, or perhaps due to, the cold, very grey winters of the town where I grew up, we have this mental block where April means spring. And yet, spring is temperamental and we learn this anew every year. As the children’s rhyme goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” (And then the rhyme becomes a history lesson: “And what do Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims!”)

Here in Weimar I learned the saying, “April, April, er macht was er will” before we even got to April. April does what it wants indeed. Although the end of March was lovely, people knew that April was just around the corner. I was warned accordingly and, true to upbringing, brushed the warning aside.

When I got home from the grocery store Friday afternoon, a laughable amount of snow in my hair, my neighbour kindly held the door open as I wheeled my bike up our front step. I commented on the sudden turn in the weather, just as I had the week before when we woke to bright sunshine and summery temperatures. “April, April,” he replied, “er macht was er will.”

Naja. Ah well. April will do what it wants and on the other end of this, we’ll have summer flowers.

This is my first spring in a long time and the world is waking.

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